Childhood & Early Life
Josh Radnor was born on July 29, 1974, in Columbus, Ohio, to Alan and Carol Radnor. His mother worked as a high-school guidance counselor, and his father was a lawyer. Josh grew up with two sisters.
Josh was always an intelligent student, both academically and artistically. He was an avid reader and a film addict. He loved critically acclaimed movies such as ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Tootsie.’ His deep interest in arts led him to join the drama group in his school.
He was raised as a Judaist and attended Jew schools as a child. He later attended ‘Bexley High School’ and became serious about a career in acting. He then attended ‘Kenyon College,’ where he won the prestigious ‘Paul Newman Award’ for his performances in some plays.
Although he primarily wanted to be a filmmaker and a writer, he was equally interested in acting. In the spring of 1995, he attended the ‘National Theater Institute’ in Waterford. There, he focused on improving his acting skills, and upon the completion of the short-term program, he went back to finish his remaining college education from ‘Kenyon College.’ He earned a BA degree in drama from the college in 1996.
He then decided to polish his skills as a filmmaker and attended New York’s ‘Tisch School of the Arts,’ from where he graduated in 1999 with a master’s degree in acting. Following that, he arrived in New York to give his acting career a real shot.
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In 2000, Josh made his acting debut with the role of ‘Doug’ in an episode of the series ‘Welcome to New York. It was a small role, but his performance managed to gain some exposure.
The next year, Josh was almost cast in the lead role in the series ‘Off Centre.’ Unfortunately, he was replaced by Eddie Kaye Thomas before the series was aired.
In 2001, he made his film debut with a small, unnamed character of a tour guide in the film ‘Not Another Teen Movie.’
Instead of getting disheartened by the slow pace of his career, Josh decided to continue playing small roles in popular series such as ‘Law & Order’ and ‘ER.’ In the absence of a solid film and TV career, Josh did not sit idle and concentrated on his other love, theater. In 2002, he made his ‘Broadway’ debut in a production of the popular play ‘The Graduate.’
He was then seen playing the supporting role of ‘Dylan Hirsch’ in the legal-drama series ‘The Court.’ Of the six episodes of the series that were aired, Josh appeared in three. He continued to play small roles in series such as ‘Miss Match’ and ‘Judging Amy.’
In 2004, he appeared in the theatrical production of the play ‘The Paris Letter,’ playing the lead role. It also starred Neil Patrick Harris. They were both a year away from creating one of the most popular on-screen best-friend duos.
Josh then bagged the role of ‘Ted Mosby,’ the lead in the sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ The series started airing in 2005 and became an instant success. Some critics compared the sitcom with another cult classic, ‘Friends,’ and that led the show to get a few negative reviews. However, over time, the response became largely positive.
The sitcom portrayed the life of five friends from New York, searching for the meaning of love and friendship amidst their chaotic fast-paced lives. ‘Ted Mosby’ the character played by Josh, sits in the future, with his kids, telling them the story of how he met their mother. Throughout most of the show, ‘Ted’ remains a hopelessly romantic guy who prefers his emotions over everything.
While Neil Patrick Harris received a lot of appreciation for his role of ‘Barney Stinson’ in the same series, Josh was appreciated for his subtle expressions and emotional range. The series became a cult hit and earned many awards.
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The smashing success of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ allowed Josh to pursue his love for directing and writing. In 2010, he wrote and directed a comedy–drama film titled ‘Happythankyoumoreplease,’ which featured him and Malin Akerman in the lead roles. The film premiered at the ‘Sundance Film Festival’ and won the ‘Audience Award.’ It was also nominated for the ‘Grand Jury Prize.’
The critical and commercial success of the film proved Josh’s mettle as an artist. He proved his worth again with his second directorial venture, ‘Liberal Arts.’
‘Liberal Arts’ was released in 2012 and premiered at the ‘Sundance Film Festival.’ The film featured Josh as a college professor in love with a 19-year-old girl. Written and directed by Josh, the film received largely positive reviews and was a box-office hit.
In 2013, Josh played one of the lead roles in the film ‘Afternoon Delight.’ It was Josh’s third film to premiere at the ‘Sundance Film Festival.’ Upon its release, it received wide critical acclaim.
In 2018 Josh appeared in comedy–drama film ‘Social Animals.’ The film received mixed reviews from critics.
Josh has also lent his voice to the character of ‘Ted Mosby’ in the adult animated series ‘Family Guy.’
Of late, he has played lead roles in the series ‘Mercy Street’ and ‘Rise.’
Josh Radnor has always raised a strong voice against the porn industry. Amidst accusations of nurturing orthodox views, he claimed that he was raised in a liberal household and that he was totally in favor of the freedom of expression. However, he claimed he had issues with the negative impact of porn addiction on people.
Josh has been selective about his roles. He often gets roles that are similar to the character of ‘Ted’ from ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ He wants people to get over ‘Ted,’ as the series has ended four years back.
Josh has dated Minka Kelly and Demi Lovato. He has also dated Lindsay Price in the past. Lindsay appeared as a guest on the show ‘How I Met Your Mother.’